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presented was the most awful that the imagination can picture. The unfortunate inhabitants of over a square mile of the most densely populated part of the city, over which the fire had passed, were rushing in every direction in a frenzied state of bewilderment. In a few moments the roofs of the court house, Chamber of Commerce, Merchants' Insurance building and Coolbaugh's Bank fell in with a fearful crash. Here an attempt was made to stop the progress of the flames by blowing up some of the large buildings with gunpowder. Five kegs were exploded in Coolbaugh's Bank, but the shattered debris of the wreck only added fury to the flames. The scenes presented here were terrible, and it was now evident that the entire city was doomed to destruction. The flames rushed on with irresistible force and appeared like a huge monster of fire and smoke over a mile and a half long, with its . head on court house square.
Here huge flames would leap up among the clouds of smoke, illuminating the whole city as in the noonday for miles around. Presently, from a sudden gust of wind, they would dart down along the ground and along the walls of adjacent buildings, which would immediately burst out in flames. The Sherman House, on the north side of the court house square, next caught fire, the guests rushing out through the doors and jumping through the windows in every direction, many escaping without their clothing. Nothing whatever was saved in the hotel, and it is not known how many persons may have perished here and in the immense buildings surrounding, as no one can go within a mile of them as yet. But it is strongly to be hoped that sufficient warning was given, and that all escaped. From here the flames rapidly advanced to Lake street, burning the Tremont House and every building on Lake and Water streets to the Illinois Central Railroad depot and Illinois Central elevators. The whole southern part of the city, from where the fire crossed the canal at Polk street to the court house square, and from there to the Illinois Central Railroad depot-over a mile and a half in length—and from the canal to the lake shore, one mile wide, was one solid mass of flames. This comprises the wealth and principal business part of the city, containing the Court House, Postoffice, Sherman House, Tremont House, Palmer House, and the immense new Pacific Hotel, the Michigan Southern and Illinois Central Railroad depots, all the leading banks of the city, the Tribune, Times, and all the other newspaper offices of the city, the Chamber of Commerce, all the theatres and public libraries and halls, all the wholesale houses and large retail houses of the city, and the rich and fashionable residences on Wabash and Michigan avenues as far as Harrison street, one mile from the canal-everything is absolutely lost over this vast area of one mile and a half long and one mile wide of the very heart of the city. Only here and there a wall or chimney remains standing as far as the eye can penetrate from the outside, but as yet no one can enter it, so intense is the heat.
From the immense elevators and storehouses along the canal, the flames shot across to the north side, burning all the vessels and canal boats in the canal, and rapidly spread over to the north side. Here the extent burnt over at the present writing is much greater than on the south side, and the flames are still raging. There is no hope whatever of resisting the fire till it spends its force on the prairies, five or six miles north from the court house. The north side, from the canal to Lincoln Park, along Lasalle and Dearborn streets and the lake shore, is the oldest part of the city, and occupied by many of the wealthiest citizens, while North Clark and Lake streets and along the line of the north branch of the canal, is principally occupied by the foreign elements, Germans, etc., and mostly poor. At the present writing, an area of three miles long and one and a half broad is one blackened, charred desert. Not even a tree or blade of grass is left living, and the flames are still advancing north. There is no hope of any portion of the North Division of the city being saved, which covers an area of about six miles long and an average width from the north branch of the canal to the lake shore of one and a half miles. The part of the North Side destroyed includes the water works, the Roman Catholic Cathedral and about forty fine churches of different denominations. The area burned on the South Side contained about twenty of the most beautiful and costly churches in the city, and many smaller ones.
It is utterly impossible to attempt an approximation of the entire loss. The part burnt contains nearly all the grain elevators, lumber yards, wood and coal yards, just filled with the winter supply, all the banks and public buildings, all the hotels, all the wholesale and principal retail houses, all the best churches, the theatres and the costliest and most fashionable private residences of the city. It is within bounds to say that three-fourths of the entire wealth of the city has been swept away
in a few hours.
The loss of human life, it is feared by many, must be very large, and they put the figures at many hundreds at least, but the exact number can never be known. I myself do not share in these gloomy anticipations, and believe that nearly all had sufficient warning to escape.
The confusion on the North Side this morning and all day baffles description. People rushed round frantically, crying and bewailing the loss of friends. The means of escape from the North Side were over the draw-bridge and across the canal, and over these the poor people rushed, some carrying children, some bearing along fainting women and children, and every one with pots, pans and bedding. Occasionally, a tug boat would come along towing a vessel from the fames, loaded with human beings, when the bridge would swing open to let her through. At such times there is ground for apprehension that many of those near the bridge may have been forced into the water by those in the rear, in their efforts to get away from the flames surrounding
The screams, shrieks and imprecations at these bridges are utterly indescribable.
At least 100,000 souls are homeless to-night, and without shelter of any kind, having lost everything.
Thus has Chicago been turned into ruins. Blocks which were considered proof against fire, melted before the fierce flames like frost before a harvest sun, and not a single one on the twenty-five hundred
a acres of burnt district, withstood the scorching flames.
Among the most solid and ornamental of blocks destroyed were those containing Masonic Halls. One of these, Oriental, was furnished at an expense of nearly one hundred thousand dollars. Others were nearly as expensive. But they are now crumbled down and lie among the smouldering ruins. Over ten thousand Masons are without halls in which to meet. But that is nought in comparison with their families destitute of homes to shelter them, and the numbers who have fallen in the vain struggle to resist the fierce attack of the fire demon.
We are glad to know that the whole country is aroused, and that trains are loaded with food, clothing and household goods in all parts of the east and west, and forwarded to the sufferers, and that money is raised in liberal amounts to replace, to some extent, the lost homes. This is a glorious work, and we rejoice to know that the Masonic brotherhood are moving, and doing a liberal share of this truly Masonic work. It is hoped that every brother will take part in this labor of charity. None are too poor to give at least the widow's mite.
Since preparing the above, the intelligence comes of the ravages of the fire in other places. The insatiate fire fiend is still at large, devastating cities of greater or less magnitude, and also many of the rural districts of Wisconsin, Kansas, and our own State. Thousands on thousands of people are fleeing for their lives, after battling heroically for their homes and household goods. Hundreds have met death in this awful struggle. Such a time was never known since the settlement of the west. Every paper we take up is full of the heart-rending accounts, so we need not occupy our space in the fearful detai!s. The readers of our journal will know quite enough of the terrible history of destruction by fire. What we now most need is immediate and energetic action. Brethren, remember that we are Masons, and as such we profess to be charitable to the unfortunate and suffering. No true Mason will shrink from his duty in this time of terrible visitation.
Already we read of the movements of the Craft, east and west. The Grand Master of New York is out with a stirring circular to the Lodges in his jurisdiction. We read of liberal gifts from the Sir Knights, and the Odd Fellows are also moving. A call for action comes from Bro. Look, and our Grand Master, in our judgment, should also issue a circular. If foreign countries, and other States, are up and doing, how much more should we be, whose near neighbors and brethren of our jurisdiction are among the greatest of the sufferers. Pleas of poverty from Lodges or members will not be received. Cold winter is almost here, and these poor sufferers must be sheltered and fed, and the man who will not heed the calls for aid which come up to us from every quarter, has lost his humanity, and is no Mason.
LOOK OUT FOR THE IMPOSTOR.
THE following letter has been received by us. It explains itself, and we hope Brethren will be on their guard :
SEVIERVILLE, TENN., Sept.16, 1871. Mr. F. G. Tisdall, Editor of Pomeroy's Democrat, N. Y.:
DEAR SIR,-Enclosed find statement of imposter, you will please publish for the benefit of the Craft. We have sent communications to the D. G. M. of Tennessee, and to the G. M. of California, and had it published in several papers, hoping that he (Fuller) may somewhere be caught.
I am, very truly, your friend and subscriber, and fraternally your Brother and Companion,
J. B. EMERT,
St. Louis, August 12, 1871. Mr. R. H
Knoxville : DEAR SIR, -I transmit herewith a statement of all business done by me up to the time I left Tennessee. It becomes my duty to give you an explanation. Some time since I had a difficulty with a man who was a
" Freemason," and the unjust manner in which I was treated by his Lodge impelled me to seek redress by becoming acquainted with and pub
lishing to the world the mysteries of the Order. For that purpose I insinuated myself into Lodges in different portions of the country, and became thoroughly acquainted with the work. The Lodge at Sevierville found me out, and it became necessary for personal safety that I should leave the country immediately, and circumstances compelled me to leave in debt to the Companion $46. W. S. FULLER.
SEVIERVILLE, TENN, Aug. 26, 1871. The above letter has come to the possession of this Lodge. Mr. Fuller was located at this place for four or five months as a life insurance agent. He professed to be a Mason, and a member of Chestnut Grove Lodge, Whitmell, Va. From that Lodge we learn that while there he attempted to impose himself upon them, accrediting himself to belong to Clay Lodge, Lexington, Ky. He attempted to impose himself upon the Lodge at this place, and was detected as an imposter, and left hastily and clandestinely to escape punishment, without paying his board bill and other debts.
The above letter is the only information received from him since his departure. He is believed to have gone west of the Rocky Mountains.
Mr. Fuller is about twenty-five years of age, medium height, rather slender, weighs 120 pounds; his complexion is dark, black hair and mustache, dresses well, talks fluently, claims to be of high origin, and when detected is impudent, and claims that he has two cousins in different parts of the country, of the same name and appearance as himself. Information of his whereabouts is desired and solicited. All papers friendly to the Institution please copy.
I certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the letter of W. S. Fuller, and of the proceedings of Mountain Star Lodge, No. 197, F. A. M., had at a special communication, held at Sevierville, Tenn., Aug. 26, 1871, and ordered to be published.
G. W. PICKLE, Secretary.
A VENERABLE CRAFTSMAN.
“ During the past week the Craftsmen of this city have found a strange workman in their midst, but one that is well worthy of a kindly reception and courteous treatment. The Brother to whom we refer is Felix Alexander Blohome, who arrived from Monroe, Michigan, on